Tuesday, September 8, 2009
cave girl and the city: part 1
the cave girl has been unable to post lately. i've been trying to do what we are most evolved to do as the human animal. i've been adapting. it is essential to step frequently out of one's comfort zone. it is essential because there are so many parts of ourselves that can never grow unless challenged. we humans need to experience as many different environments as we possibly can. that is what makes us who we are. humans can exist, can thrive, in nearly every corner of the earth. i do feel the nomadic genes of my ancestors pulling me to travel from and to different places that i can call home. on the flip side, i can also feel the pull of my genetics to stay where there is plenty.
the 30-day challenge thrown down by www.marksdailyapple.com was undertaken by me in haiti. (it's in the caribbean.) it is where i grew up. under the haitian sun is where i learned to seek shade from mango trees. in the ocean that haiti floats in, i learned to swim, collect seaweed-covered rocks, felt the suction of a starfish as it would crawl up my hand, and discovered that sleeping to the lullaby of crashing waves was the surest path to the wildest dreams. in the kitchens of haiti, i learned to eat up all the tastes that the cooks around me could imagine. haitian food! where spice and sauce and vegetables and meat undergo a metaphysical metamorphosis and becomes deep nourishment that nurtures the body and the soul. the music of the country taught me how to dance to every other beat that i would ever encounter because the music of the country is pounded out on drums in the night. drums, different heartbeats, that sank through the veil of my sleep until they could no longer be separated from my own. and, of course, haiti is the home of my father. the man who taught me how to eat nearly every part of the cow, how to crush the mango leaves to release the twin fragrance of that tree's particular fruit, how to turn every day into an adventurous celebration of life, and how to march proudly to the beat that is unique to me.
in haiti, being a cave girl isn't labelled or identified as something special. at least, for me, it never was. i've always been a wild thing that thrives like a worm wriggling in red meat. the only thing that was different was my special attention to not eating grains or legumes. oh my goddess, this was only difficult when the endless parade of different rice and bean dishes were carried out from the kitchen under my nose. the spice-scented steam hitting the part of my brain that is nearly as strong as my primal one...the one of habit, the one of culture.
other than that, haiti is a place where the sun still dictates the day. when it rises, so does everyone else. i got most of my "work" accomplished before nine in the morning. relationships are the salve that heals the other hardships of living. the food is fresh. with no reliable or consistent refrigeration, it has to be. that goat was butchered today, or yesterday at the earliest. there was a coconut tree in the yard from which i picked my daily milk. there was also a mango tree, an avocado tree, orange trees, lemongrass bushes, edible, nourishing vines, etc. the yard was large and invited me to play. the house is at the base of a mountain, so walking up the street is a hike. sleeping and eating is understood by everyone as vital to one's happiness, so time is allotted for each. and one can luxuriate over a two hour nap or a three hour lunch with no strange looks.
and the ocean. outside of haiti, the only place that i see that color, that depth, that level of healing, is in the tall man's eyes. when i see that ocean, the oldest parts of my DNA, the oldest little mitochondria, positively vibrate with pleasure. it is no stretch at all to know, with certitude, that i rose up from the sea once upon a time. that all life began in the ocean is just too obvious to even have to be stated. millions of years later, i am me. still wild and only tame enough to endure an hour of socially approved conversation over a proper meal.
but these past few weeks, i've been back in the states. in another place that i call home. but there has not yet been enough time to let it sink deep into my bones as part of me. of course, individuals don't evolve, groups do. so maybe, i never will accept this place into my core. but, i am adapting. i may even be starting to love it. it is just the journey that we all undergo when there is something new. first comes the elation of newness, then, the shock of differentness, then the familiarity of knowing, then the love as it becomes important.
so, i'm trying to bring the elements from my cave girl existence here to the city while still allowing the city to offer me the things that make it so special.
here's a partial list:
1. the tall man lives here (waddaya gonna do?)
2. i can ride my bike everywhere
3. there are patches of wildness where medicine grows as weeds
4. CROSSFIT!!! woohoo! (of course, if my performance in crossfit really were necessary to track down a mammoth, lets just say i'd be a very hungry cave girl.)
5. water, water everywhere! marshes and rivers and oceans, oh my! i NEED this like others need...hmmm...i don't even know what other's need that i can compare to this.
6. sashimi tuna at the market...like any day of the week people!
7. my dog, my familiar, my primal inspiration is here
8. libraries and bookstores....the one modern convenience that i drool over. the smell of ink on paper makes me HIGH! (i'm not even kidding! i'm a cheap date.)
9. quiet and privacy. these are two luxuries that no one can afford in haiti.
10. hippies. there aren't really any of these in haiti and their trail blazing makes me so comfortable walking down the street barefoot or knowing that i can always find a place where a drum circle is underway.
i am still working out the kinks to living primally, but authentically. it isn't a gimmick to me. it is my life that someone else has helped label. now, i need to live my life with as much honesty as i can.